For this month’s edition of Poet Republik we welcome Krystal Simpson. She works in the world of fashion and celebrity with 89K instagram followers. When she posted her response to the horror of Orlando last weekend, I noticed she received almost no responses. Now, understand me people, I love shallowness as much as the next person. I bellieve there is a place in the world for celebrity gossip and etc. in the face of the horror that is the human predicament, escapism has its wonders–but not to the exclusion of everything else. Here I offer Krystal’s thoughtful commentary. We stand for all the people who have been the victims of hate crimes, racism, or intolerance and for the issues of free speech, freedom of religion (or the right to be an atheist) and for gender equality.
I’ve been struggling with the right thing to say about the horrific massacre at Pulse in Orlando during a time of Pride, celebration and love, at a place where everyone felt the safety and freedom to be themselves in this – despite monumental human rights advances – still very primitive, violent, and scary world for anyone who doesn’t fit into what someone’s grandparents may have thought to be “normal.” To say we’re “saddened” or even “heartbroken” over what’s happened seems like an immense understatement to describe the deadliest massacre on US soil, even though media outlets, brands, and celebrities have already seemingly moved on if you use social media as the barometer, while some chose to make no mention whatsoever. The world is advancing at what seems like light-speed sometimes, and some people want to take it backwards into the dark ages with this insane hate; innocent children are being slaughtered in the street by crooked cops and getting away with it, women are being murdered at abortion clinics, and parents are still disowning their babies for being gay, lesbian, trans, or something that they find to be outside the binary-acceptable norm. I will never understand how anyone expressing love in any way inspires bigotry or hate in another. Hate is taught, babies aren’t born hating anything – stop teaching hate! Stop supporting politicians who perpetuate hate, and won’t write laws that will protect us from automatic weapons. Be bigger, don’t be a bully, and don’t turn your backs when you see someone being bullied – no matter how young or old they are. It takes a lot of strength for some people to simply be themselves in a still very violent world, so if you notice someone that’s marching to their own drumbeat, don’t try to dim their glow, don’t be one of the people that makes their life harder; because I know we’re all dealing with stuff -some more than others, and wouldn’t you want to be a light in someone’s life instead of another tyrant or oppressor? Sending my love to everyone out there who may have a slightly different drumbeat, who marches to a whole different drummer, or even to the sound of a completely different instrument: I’ll march with you.
Krystal Simpson is a writer, musician, and model, currently living in Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon hills. Simpson got her start as a child model at age six when she was scouted on-set with her photographer mother. She started writing early on, and won her first poetry award in junior high, and later served as Editor for her college’s literary journal The Homestead Review. While in college, she was already working as a columnist for a Monterey Bay newspaper near her hometown of Salinas, California. Simpson later ended up at Rolling Stone Magazine, and the experience was filmed for the MTV documentary series “I’m from Rolling Stone.” While she was living in New York she started a blog called “What is Reality Anyway” and soon began collaborating with major brands and released signature bag with the largest American leather-goods company Coach. During that same time she also landed a modeling contract with the global agency Next Management. Her androgynous personal style has landed her in everything from international style books, blogs, and tumblr’s, to the pages of magazines like Nylon, Elle, and WWD. Krystal’s latest project has her fronting the Los Angeles rock band Babe Teeth, while simultaneously serving as the Editor-at-Large for The Ping Pong Free Press, and creative directing a new project Z.D. launching in the Fall 2016.